It turns out I’m a bad blogger. This is not surprising! But nonetheless, it is a little terrible that this story has sat waiting to be told since February.
I started rock and roll dancing about June or July in 2011 with Feet with Heat and instantly was hooked. I could see I’d finally found my “thing” and decided that I wanted to do as much as I could! Unfortunately my partner G would rather (insert painful metaphor) than dance, so I went alone, but going any further than just dancing in class requires a partner. I was really lucky to meet a guy at dancing, D, who is fun to hang out with and fantastic to dance with, and we decided within a few weeks that we should have a few practices and see if we could get any better.
Come early this year, our dance teacher decided that D and I were doing ok and should enter a small dance competition held as part of Rockin’ the Hutt, a street festival and fair in Lower Hutt, Wellington, on February 26th.
Now, I should explain that I do performance anxiety poorly. Or well, depending on your point of view. Anything that involves being watched, assessed, or judged turns me into a dithering mess. So it was with trepidation and a huge amount of personal development that I agreed to this craziness! But D was keen and supportive and I knew that we’d have fun so I signed up.
Of course, once the paperwork was done the important thing was what I was going to look like! I wore my skull and roses dress (yet to be blogged about) and arranged people to do my hair and makeup. Claire of The Vanity Case and Miss La Belle of Miss La Belle’s Hair Pretties were sharing a stall in the market selling Besame vintage makeup, vintage hair styling, and handmade hair flowers and pretties. So at 9 am I got my hair and make-up done sitting on a stool in the middle of the street!
The wonderful Mrs C had also decided that D needed to coordinate and kindly made him a tie and pocket handkerchief that matched my dress. He looked great.
D and I competed in the rock and roll open (where you are judged as a couple), entered individually in the jack and jill (where you dance with lots of partners and are judged individually) and entered best dressed.
We also got lots of social dancing in between different competition rounds, trying to keep up with the wild rock and roll tunes spun out by Wellington’s own X-Ray Cats.I was a nervous wreck just before the open section, but D distracted me with kind words and bad jokes, and we made it through the competition without falling off the dance floor, which was a raised stage set up in the middle of the street. That was my main concern so I was happy!
Finally, at the end of the day the results were announced, and to my delight, we did well! D and I were shocked and thrilled to find we came third in the rock and roll open, and we now each have an actual medal hanging on the wall. I was even more shocked to discover I came second in the follows in the jack and jill. And to top off the day, D and I won best dressed competing couple, meaning we each got a tidy sum to put towards dance shoes from Kanikani shoes. I love my new dance shoes.
Not a bad start to competitive dancing! And just like that I was hooked. Since then D and I competed in a small club competition in Whanganui, on very short notice, where we surprised ourselves by coming 5th in a field of 7, which was very exciting as we were the only couple freestyling and not doing well-rehearsed routines.
And to top it off, on Sunday just gone, D won the leads in the rock and roll Jack and Jill organised by our studio and held at the Southern Cross bar. And I won the follows!
I’m still an absolute bundle of nerves before every event but I see this as a great way to do something I love and overcome a personal limitation. And who knows where to from here? There will be more to follow!